In 1660, with the return of Charles II to the English throne, theater, the visual arts, science and sexual promiscuity flourish. Thirteen years later, in the midst of political and economical problems, Charles II asks for the return of his friend John Wilmot, aka the second Earl of Rochester, from exile back to London. John is a morally-corrupt drunkard and a sexually- active cynical poet. When the King asks John to prepare a play for the French ambassador so as to please him, John meets the aspiring actress Elizabeth Barry in the playhouse and decides to make her into a great star. He falls in love with her and she becomes his mistress. During the presentation to the Frenchman, he falls into disgrace with the court. When he was thirty-three years old and dying of syphilis and alcoholism, he converts to being a religious man. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Most of the film was lit using candles rather than conventional movie lights. In order to keep the effect of candles but still get enough light, cinematographer Alexander Melman designed a special piece of equipment, a stand that held a bank of candles and a reflective backing. These were known on the set as Birthday Cakes. See more »
The prologue and epilogue have the Earl-as-Narrator mentioning "gonads" (a word not coined until almost 1880), and remembering the circumstances of his own death. This part of the movie is meant to break the fourth wall. The narrating Earl knows he is speaking to a 21st-century audience. See more »
Allow me to be frank at the commencement. You will not like me. The gentlemen will be envious and the ladies will be repelled. You will not like me now and you will like me a good deal less as we go on. Ladies, an announcement: I am up for it, all the time. That is not a boast or an opinion, it is bone hard medical fact. I put it round you know. And you will watch me putting it round and sigh for it. Don't. It is a deal of trouble for you and you are better off watching and drawing...
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Special thanks to Tracy, Billy and Stanley and all our Friends and Families See more »
I had the "liberty" of seeing the libertine at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year. Though I am a big Johnny Depp fan, I truly didn't know what to excpect.
Considering the movie started off with Johnny's character 'pleasuring' his wife..... I was a little shocked, but the film really turned itself around and turned out to be funny, sad, disgusting and just a little rude.
I personnaly feel that Johnny Depp gave the most impressive performance of his career, and deserved considerable praise. It was probably one of the more difficult of characters he has played, and in my opinion the most compelling.
Samantha Morton was simply SUPERB playing Johnny's actress lover. She showed her true acting ability, and also portrayed a difficult character with ease.
Laurence Dunmore showed true potential in his debut film, and directed an EXTREMELY controversial piece making it stand out.
In my downright opinion, the Libertine has not received at all as much praise as it should be receiving. It would be a travesty not to release this masterpiece worldwide.
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